b'Lupins Journey in CanadaSweet lupin was first discussed about two decades ago in Alberta when researchers, agronomists and others looked at trying European varieties. A team at Alberta Agriculture deter-mined they could easily grow the crop in the province, but the lack of a market precluded much further study. With renewed interest in 2010, researchers began new investigations. Then, seven years later, increasing consumer interest in plant-based foods prompted another look at high-protein lupins. Limited studies ensued with Boregine.Since 2021, Robyne Bowness Davidson, who was at Alberta Agriculture and is now a pulse research scientist at Lakeland College in Lacombe, Alberta, has led a three-year project study-ing various lupin production and agronomy challenges. These include broadleaf herbicide options, disease and insect control and the best way to achieve pre-harvest dry-down. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research scientist Breanne Tidemann is also evaluating herbicide options for lupins, with funding from Alberta Pulse Growers. This group is also fundingLupin Platform staff from left: Alphonsus Utioh, Tuan Tony Le,protein and starch research.Rani Lorenzetti, Tristan Choi.Lupin has great potential for protein fractionation for the food market, says Bowness Davidson. But its also suitable for livestock feed and its mostly used for feed in Europe andCurrently LPI ships seed to a Minnesota mill for various U.S. Australia. Lupins are very exciting to me because they can becustomers making high-protein keto pasta, beverage mixes and grown in some areas of Western Canada where we cannot growmore. In Canada, Choi uses a mill in Saskatchewans capital city, soybeans due to the climate. Saskatoon, but he is now retrofitting a mill he recently purchased North American interest in lupin is slowly spreading beyondin Swift Current, a smaller city in that provinces south.Canada. Bowness Davidson reports a small but notable flameThis will allow us to scale up, he explains. We are very of U.S. interest in sweet lupin, with several breeding companiesmindful of how we grow. We stay focussed on our small group of making inquiries.about ten customers. Each is unique in their needs for a custom-Were making a lot of progress here that they can build on,ized product, for example steam-treated or heat-treated forms. but many areas where they grow soybeans wont be suitableOn the feed front, weve run a feed trial on an Alberta dairy farm because lupin doesnt like heat. she says.with lupin meal instead of canola meal, and interim results for Choi is collaborating with University of North Dakota scien- butterfat and milk yield are very positive.tists on a small lupin trial.He hopes the results will lead to a graduate student doing a The flowers will abort (due to heat). And high alkaline soilstwo-year study.result in total crop failure. So, theres potential in the U.S. but onlyAfter limited acreage three years ago, LPI contracted 680 in select areas, Choi reports.acres and milled about 160 tonnes in 2022. This year, acreage He said the results are not yet available.is 1,000 acres, mostly in Alberta with some in Manitoba. Next But while potential exists for lupin to become a more widelyyear, the target is between 1,200 and 1,500 acres with LPIs small grown crop in Canada and into the United States, Bownessgroup of select growers. Davidson stresses theres a lot of work left to be done.Meanwhile, Choi is keen to collaborate with breeding com-We have some varieties doing very well but others not, shepanies and/or customers in Europe, Australia, the United States, reports. We must figure out weed management. Its the numberArgentina and beyond. one constraint for yield. We dont have a lot of products at ourThe future looks fantastic for lupin, he says. We will con-fingertips so well continue to work diligently and build on whattinue to grow slowly and wisely and work with our selected weve learned. Disease management is going well and hopefully,growers and talented agronomists. Were also marketing that wont change. Insects have not been a concern in the pastour own food products, with R&D supported in part by the but this year, blister beetle showed up. [Canadian] federal government.He adds that LPI will launch lupin pickles next year and con-Milling and Markets tinues to explore ice cream and other products.LPI continues its work developing the entire lupin value chain.The batch we made with the famous Bridge Drive-in ice Choi has a core team of six, and hires about 12 field associatescream shop in Winnipeg sold out this summer and the traction and project managers each year to provide seasonal advice togot the attention of national news outlets. I hardly got to try any his contracted growers.of it he adds.SW50/ SEEDWORLD.COMINTERNATIONAL EDITION 2024'